Liturgy – H​.​A​.​Q​.​Q.

For a six-year run leading up to and through The Ark Work (2015), Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s output as Liturgy made him public enemy number one in the black metal community. Some of this wasn’t entirely his fault, namely the unexpected “indie seal of approval” bestowed on Aesthethica (2011). The album’s response was essentially a lighter version of the Sunbather (2013) debacle that enraged the “tried and trve” crowd. It certainly didn’t help that Hunt-Hendrix published a manifesto titled Transcendental Black Metal: A Vision of Apocalyptic Humanism, because nothing impresses metal fans more than a hyper-pretentious, pseudo-intellectual analysis of their favorite genre,…

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King – Coldest of Cold

Another week, another serviceable yet disappointing follow-up from an Australian supergroup… Emerging from the ashes of Australian grind legends Blood Duster, Fuck I’m Dead and The Day Everything Became Nothing (the latter two aren’t technically split up, but still), King swiftly silenced any skepticism over their change in direction with their debut record Reclaim the Darkness (2016). Not that anyone should have been surprised. Frontman Tony “Tone Bone” Forde made no secret of his growing fondness for black metal during Blood Duster’s later years: the band’s final two releases being the masterful Lyden Nå (2007), whose moniker was intended as “homage…

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183 – The Golden Age of Thall

Heavy Pod Is Heavy Cast! thall

thall, but we also talk about thall. Then we have thall and thall. This joke sucks. Music from Unlucky Morpheus, Reasoning Reflections, Liturgy, Blood Incantation, Vildhjarta. Zeal & Ardor live, every Gojira pick scrape ever. Then, cool people time with Star Wars colon Jedi colon Fallen Order. Perihelion Summer by Greg Egan, endgame stuff from The Division 2, and the big one – a Death Straning blowout. Enjoy.

Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas

Cattle Decapitation’s transformation from novelty goregrind act into one of the premier progressive/technical death metal bands of the modern era has been one of the most surprising and rewarding events in modern extreme metal. Now (at least) three records into a career-defining hot streak that’s rivaled by few if any of their peers, the San Diego quintet no longer need to prove themselves. They can sit comfortably at the top of their game, lauding the considerable gap they’ve established between themselves and their competitors—which is exactly what they do on Death Atlas. There are no surprises in store here, just…

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Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged & Unbound

Brutal death metal is a 50/50 proposition for me most of the time. There are several bands in death metal’s nastiest of branches (Wormed, Devourment, Disentomb, Aborted, and Defeated Sanity, for example) that push the boundaries of what the most authoritative sounds in death metal can and should be. However, if I’m being especially pointed, the majority of the subgenre is directionless, uninteresting riff-salad that I find neither entertaining nor fulfilling. Thankfully, bands like the above pull the entire group up a notch in overall quality, and few more so than Londoners Unfathomable Ruination. Since the release of their first…

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